Haris (Harilaos) Mantafounis

He was born in Alexandroupoli, Greece, in 1944. He studied at the Giorgos Theodosiades Drama School and the Koula Pratsika Dance Academy (1962-63). In 1964, he participated in the chorus of the Art Theater’s production of Birds [Ornithes] (Nikoloudi/Hadjidakis) in London. He attended classical dance lessons under Leonidas de Pian at the Rallou Manou School of Greek Ballet. In 1967 he participated in the “Elliniko Chorodrama” production of Six Popular Drawings [Exi laikes zografies] (Manou/Hadjidakis). In 1970, he took dance classes with Peter Bruce and Raymond Franchetti in Paris. While in France, he began choreographing. In 1976 he won the first prize for choreography at the Bagnolet International Competition. In 1974-75 he was taught the Martha Graham system in New York. He collaborated with the Boston Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1980 he founded the Contemporary Dance Company, with which he participated in festivals and cultural events in Greece and abroad. Two ballets stand out the most among his prolific creative work: Family [Oikogeneia] and Reformer [Anamorfotis]. He served as member of the jury in the international ballet competitions of Varna and Paris. He taught at the International Dance Academy in Paris, the Place in London, the the Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne and elsewhere. His work Swings [Aioriseis] won the First State Choreography Prize in 1988, in Athens. He has been teaching contemporary dance at the Greek National School of Dance. During the period 1978-2007, he choreographed the following ballets for the GNO: Mythology (Theodorakis), Pas de trois (Chopin), Petrushka (Stravinsky), as well as the ballet sections of the operas The troubadour [Il trovatore], Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagony [Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny] and Periklis Koukos’s A Midsummer Night's Dream.